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Special Needs Trusts: Securing the Future of a Special Needs Child

Posted on in Estate Planning & Children

special needs trusts, Wheaton estate planning attorneysAccording to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, Americans with Disabilities Report, nearly one in five families are caring for a family member with a disability. Equating to about 56.7 million people, or 19 percent of the total population, the U.S. has witnessed an increase in those with qualifying disabilities by 2.2 million citizens. Not only has the number of those with disabilities risen, but the number and percentage of those requiring assistance has also increased.

The report also relates that four in 10 individuals with a disability, ages 21 to 64, often find themselves unemployed and facing persistent poverty levels as the ability to obtain viable employment opportunities may be out of reach.

As reported, one in every 26 American families are facing the challenges of raising a child with special needs, and 69 percent of those caring for a child report that they are concerned about providing lifetime care for their dependents with special needs.

With data derived from a recent MetLife Survey, "The Torn Security Blanket: Children with Special Needs and the Planning Gap," it is apparent that preparation for future needs is somewhat lacking as disabled children grown into disabled adults. The report found the following statistical information:

  • 88 percent of parents have yet to draft a trust to preserve supplemental benefits;
  • 84 percent are without a letter of intent, outlining a child's future health directives;
  • 26 percent of parents have not created a special needs trust;
  • 76 percent have not identified or named a trustee; and
  • 49 percent have not identified or appointed a legal guardian.

Often, time is not on their side, as 32 percent of all parents caring for a special needs or disabled child often spend more than 40 hours per week ensuring that the child's needs are met and further compounded by 59 percent of parents claiming unfamiliarity with their legal options.

At the Illinois law office of Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, our experienced Wheaton estate planning attorneys understand your time is limited. With over 30 years of special needs trust experience, we can advise you on the many different types of trusts that may best suit your dependent's needs as well addressing guardianship directives. Contact our legal team at 630-665-2500 to schedule your options today.

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